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Flashcards in Diverse people Deck (70):

Culture and differences in values and beliefs can affect a range of areas in the work environment including:
(7 examples)



What is culture made up of?
(7 examples)

Values and attitudes;
Idioms and expressions;
Pragmatic aspects of language;
Social behaviours;
Non-verbal communication;
Cultural rules/scripts.


Visible aspects of culture:
(7 examples)

Called "Way of life"

Behaviours and manners;
Food and drink;


Invisible aspects of culture:
(6 examples)

Called "World view":

Beliefs and values;
Opinions, attitudes and philosophies;
Attitudes to privacy and personal space;
Approach to cleanliness;
The concepts of friendship;
Cultural identity


What are cultural scripts?

Sets of guidelines or unspoken rules shared by people from the same or similar cultural backgrounds.

A script tells people what to expect, what to do, and how to behave in different situations.
There are particular scripts for different behaviours and occasions, and as such, misunderstandings can occur when people do not share or understand the script used in a particular culture.


How can you learn a different culture's script?

By asking questions and observation.


Being culturally aware means you have the capacity to:

relate to cultural differences positively, constructively and with sensitivity.
recognise and Appreciate differences.


Improve your cultural awareness by taking time to:

Investigate, understand and appreciate the dimensions that contribute to how we relate to someone. These are often not immediately apparent.


European arrival in 1788 meant aboriginals:
(5 examples)

Were decimated by European diseases and violence;
Became dependent on unhealthy diets and exposed to alcohol;
Had their children forcibly removed;
Experienced many health problems and had difficulty accessing healthcare ;
Had no right to vote until 1967;


Factors negatively affecting delivery of healthcare to Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders:
(3 [4, 3, 4] examples)

rural and remote
transient population
poor access to primary health care
lack of transportation and accommodation to/at
Disadvantaged socio-economic status:
poor housing
high risk for co-morbidities (occurence of multiple
diseases at once)
financial stress
Educationally disadvantaged:
poor access to information
poor uptake of health initiatives
low vaccination rates
high rate of communicable diseases


Cultural differences which can impact on the delivery of healthcare to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can include:

Distrust of government and hospitals/authority. (may
view hospitals as a place of death);

Respect and trust (great emphasis on shame, trust and
confidentiality. Building a relationship is often key to
providing suitable care);

Elders often possess specific skills, attributes and
knowledge. They uphold the law and make
community decisions. It is vital that protocol is
observed when approaching a community about
health services. Elders should always be consulted!

Death and Sorry business (a continuous cycle which
impacts greatly on families and communities.
The mourning process may take days to weeks,
depending on the community. It is not appropriate for
outsiders to enter communities at this time. If
already there, you may pay respect to the family with
consent/if previously arranged.
Any printed material with ATSI on it must warn that
deceased persons may be pictured, to avoid offence.
Death is dealt with differently in every Indigenous
Community. Speaking with your Aboriginal health
worker will help this process


Queensland Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander healthy life expectancy:

average to 62 years of age in good health.
almost 12 years less than the healthy life expectancy of a non-Indigenous Queenslander.


Losses felt by refugees:
(9 examples)

Self esteem;
Family and friends;
Job and status

May have separation anxiety


Self reflection is the starting point for cultural capability.
It involves:
(3 examples)
It can encourage:
(5 examples)

Self-reflection involves:

Establishing identity and identifying ways in which we
can improve self and social awareness;
Exploring and acknowledging own beliefs and
Recognising preconceived ideas that can
subconsciously influence us

Self reflection can encourage:

Knowing why you react a certain way;
Being open about our limitations;
Finding alternatives when things don't go to plan;
Help prevent jumping to conclusions;
Improved social awareness


Ways to use reflection/what can you use reflection to do?:
(7 suggestions)

Strengthen understanding of cultural diversity (why
people behave as they do);
Acknowledge differences/similarities between cultures;
Consider factors that influence how people act;
Be culturally responsive;
Value diversity;
Reflect on how and why you did things that
way (use a journal) and acknowledge areas for improvement;
Be aware of own culture/history impacting others, and
confront biases.


5 areas to develop for cultural capability:
(4 Cs)

Self-Reflection (examining our own culture and beliefs);
Cultural Understanding (being sensitive to cultural
Context (consider age, social/economic status etc, that
might influence an outcome or behaviour)
Communication (sensitivity in verbal and non-verbal
communication; make adjustments where needed)
Collaboration (respect and trust those you work with,
involve others to reach an agreement, compromise
where necessary)


Valuing diversity means:

Acknowledging and respecting the culture, religious background and previous experiences of all people, irrespective of their gender, ethnicity or beliefs.


10 examples of diversity:

Customs (cultural norms, beliefs and values);
Family structure/kinship;
Personal history and experience;
Disability/special needs;
Sexual orientation/identity


4 examples of how cultural diversity impacts the workplace:

Cultural: Having a diverse workforce means
organisations have access to fresh ideas, work habits,
and behaviours
Social: Allows an understanding of community needs
including linguistic, spiritual and dietary backgrounds
Political: Changes in policies and legislation which both
protect and engage diverse people in the workplace
Economic: An increase of skilled migrants applying for
positions can strengthen the position, skills and
efficiency of an organisation
(Organisations that value and capitalise on workplace diversity have productive and fulfilling workplaces that assist them to attract and retain employees. This leads to savings in recruitment and training costs as well as maintaining corporate knowledge and expertise. It also reduces the high costs associated with workplace exclusion such
as increased turnover, absenteeism and reduced productivity. )


If you come across difficult situations involving cultural differences:

Think about treating other people with the same regard
as you wish to be treated and be involved in
understanding differing needs


Some (16) ways organisations and health care workers can be inclusive of diversity in the workplace:

Respect and encourage diversity;
Educate staff on cultural capability;
Train staff in cultural competency;
Promote culturally sensitive modes of interaction
between colleagues;
Celebrate a range of festivals and special events;
Encourage suggestions and ideas;
Engage and value contribution;
Provide literacy and language training for employees;
Apply equal employment opportunities;
Include access and equity in job applications;
Use communication that is sensitive to culture, and be patient with ESL folk.
Embrace and utilise multilingual staff;
Provide disability access (ramps etc);
Consider religious obligations when rostering, and be
aware of holidays that coincide with important
religious or cultural events;
Understand the need for co-workers to be away from
work due to cultural or family obligations;
Understand any inability to engage in certain tasks or
activities due to cultural considerations



The 4 fundamental principles of multiculturalism:

Recognises, appreciates and respects the beliefs and
values of diversity;
Supports the rights of all people to express their culture

All individuals should have the greatest possible
opportunity to contribute to, and participate in all

All individuals and institutions should respect and make
provision for the culture, language and religion of
others within an Australian legal and institutional
framework where English is the common language

Everyone should have the right to access government
departmental information

Organisations should embrace and make use of the
diverse abilities of their staff


Staff contribution to building workplace relationships and culturally inclusive workplace practice can include:

Attending cultural competency education and training;
Using appropriate communication;
Buddying with staff of similar diversity;
Treating each other with dignity and respect;
Making time to help staff feel comfortable in a new
Linking new staff to organisational resources
(interpreter services etc);
Being positive and valuing colleagues skills and
Being supportive;
Reporting discrimination and harassment;
Being fair and non-judgmental


8 requirements of a culturally competent organisation:

Quality resources to build staff cultural competency;

Implement strategies to develop a workforce that
reflects the diversity in the general population;

Provide leadership and support partnerships with key
stakeholders to support service provision to culturally
and linguistically diverse communities;

Build the cross cultural capabilities of their staff (through
orientation and other training);

Work to improve data collection and analysis for
culturally and linguistically diverse communities;

Engage with culturally and linguistically diverse
communities in the development of services;

Recognise and respond to specific disadvantaged
populations (refugees, islanders, etc);

High quality and accessible interpreter services and
translated information available to consumers from
culturally and linguistically diverse communities;


Cultural competence is driven by:

Our will and actions to build understanding between people, to be respectful and open to different cultural perspectives, strengthen cultural security and work towards equality in opportunity.


Cultural safety:

"...more or less an environment which is safe for people; where there is no assault, challenge or denial of their identity, of who they are and what they need. It is about shared respect, shared meaning, shared knowledge and experience, of learning together with dignity, and truly listening"


Cultural safety addresses:
(9 points)

Respect for culture, knowledge, experience and
Provision of basic human rights (education, housing,
medical services, employment and environmental
health services);
Treatment with dignity;
Provision of a culturally appropriate service
Clearly defined pathways to empowerment and self
Freedom from assault on identity;
Recognition of more than one set of principles/more
than one way of doing things;
Commitment to the theory and practice of cultural safety
by personnel and trained staff;
Rejection of the myth that all people of a certain culture
or race are ‘the same’


Equal employment opportunity (EEO) ensures :
(How? for whom? why?)

Ensures that workplaces are free from all forms of unlawful discrimination, harassment, hiring and dismissal.
This means having workplace rules, policies, practices and behaviours that are fair and do not disadvantage people because they belong to particular groups.
EEO groups are people affected by past or continuing disadvantage or discrimination in employment.
EEO is designed to eliminate discrimination and to achieve a diverse and skilled workforce


Some of the Australian legislation supporting EEO:

The Racial Discrimination Act 1975;
The Sex Discrimination Act 1984;
The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
Act 1986;
Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth
Authorities) Act 1987;
Disability Services Act 1986;
Disability Discrimination Act 1992;
Disability Services (Administration of Part II of the Act) Guidelines 2002.


EEO improvement strategies:
(7 examples)

Offering needs-based employment programs;
Making work-related adjustments for people with a
Offering management development courses for
members of EEO groups;
Training managers to identify and implement workplace
change which supports EEO group participation;
Providing training and development for members of
EEO groups;
Establishing EEO group networks;
Offering English language programs to staff.


Relevance of "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" to the workplace:

"Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment"

If people of diversity were refused this right, their human needs would be unmet and they would be unable to buy groceries or pay bills, for example.
It is important to recognise that human needs are not just financial, but emotional and psychological; being able to work provides us with worth, confidence and self-esteem, all of which are essential to people living a fulfilled and happy life.


Racism and racial prejudice in the workplace can include:

Making judgements about someone’s ability based on
their command of English;
Telling jokes about another race of people;
Making fun of the way someone dresses or behaves,
when it is related to their race;
Being discourteous or belittling somebody because of
their race;
Rejecting workers for promotion or advancement
because of their race, or selecting others over them



Stereotypes are generally based on:
(4 points)

Generalising or believing something about a group of people and expecting that all people of that group will behave the same way.

In general, these stereotype assumptions or beliefs have been based on:
Drawing wrong conclusions from an observation;
Ignorance or laziness in accepting another’s view;
A deliberate choice to see a group in a particular way.


Effects of discrimination:

When someone is treated unfairly because of the group they belong to.

Discrimination can have serious effects on an individual. It can affect their self-esteem, health, work capacity and personal relationships.
Individuals can start to distrust and withdraw when confronted with this negative behaviour.

Discrimination can inflict anger and cause the victim to want to hit back or to withdraw into themselves; or others may use the experience as a catalyst for positive action.


Process for lodging concerns regarding discrimination etc:
(7 steps)

1) Concern raised with supervisor
2) Incident report completed/ grievance lodged
3) Contact HR
4) Support both internally and externally is offered - for example, counselling
5) Investigation of the concern
6) A response to the concern is given – may include mediation
7) If unhappy with the investigation or outcome, lodge a complaint with the State Anti-discrimination board or the Fair Work Commission


Will I know the outcome if I raise a complaint about discrimination etc?

Not all grievances raised have a clear outcome for the person lodging the complaint.

At times due to privacy and confidentiality an employee may be disciplined, counselled or retrained within the organisations system without the complainant knowing the outcome.

However, termination of employment may also be an outcome for staff who infringe the rights of other workers.


Name of the national workplace relations tribunal:
Their purpose/use:

Fair Work Commission (FWC)

Workers can lodge general protection orders against discrimination at work if they believe their organisation has failed to protect them.
The FWC can refer cases to the Fair Work Ombudsman who can impose penalties on businesses/individuals who fail to protect their workforce and adhere to employment legislation. Employees that engage in discrimination at work may face internal disciplinary or termination of employment.


Verbal communication:
(4 steps)

Speaking, questioning, listening and answering.


Examples of non-verbal communication:
(also known as:)

Body language:
facial expressions;
eye contact;
eye movement (winking etc);
head movements (nodding etc);
hand gestures;
social distance/personal space;
ways of talking (pauses, stress on words);
posture (slouching?);
boundaries around touching;
sounds (laughing etc);
appearance (disheveled);


Barriers in communication can be broken down through:

engagement, resources, and with work practices that support an environment safe for everyone.


Cross-cultural communication:

Also known as
Intercultural communication
Requires a variety of skills relevant for effective communication in a multicultural society.
Our speaking, writing and telephone skills need to be especially effective when working cross-culturally, as the array of languages, gestures, boundaries and values are often not shared


Ways to communicate with respect:

Be attentive;
Be receptive;
Appropriate eye contact (or lack of);
Appreciate what is being said;
Appropriate verbal and non-verbal language


Differences in communication between cultures:

gestures, movement, tone of voice, eye contact and
facial expressions.
Personal space:
varies between groups, cultures,
genders, and your relationship to them
Social issues:
some cultures do not believe in same sex
partnerships; however some people don’t believe in
religion either. Neither have to create a barrier to
emotional responses and dealing with emotion, ways
to attend to someone experiencing strong emotions.
Eye contact:
avoidance of eye contact can indicate respect; or in
other cultures it may suggest deception or shyness.


Good cross-cultural communication strategies:

Assume good intent.
Explain the impact if something impacts you negatively.
Be open to communicating with different cultures to
help bridge gaps.
If you make a mistake, admit it.


Time management in communication:

All healthcare staff must be aware of time management, though ensuring communication is still effective without making the other person feel you aren’t interested or don’t have time to listen is a must.


Negative body language:

arms folded;
rolling eyes (if eye contact is not appropiate, "look
directly at the space around them");
looking at watch/phone;
staring into space;
looking bored;
tapping feet/fingers;
standing over someone (can be intimidating)


Positive body language:

arms open, relaxed, or by your side;
appropriate eye contact;
active listening


Confidentiality and communication:

When beginning a conversation with someone; remember the importance of confidentiality and consider the appropriateness of your surroundings


7 ways to ensure your communication is effective:

Ensure your message has a PURPOSE;
Think about (PLAN) what you are going to say to ensure
it is understood by the receiver;
Use POSITIVE body language;
Eliminate unnecessary words and keep your message
Keep your communication appropriate to the receiver;
Use clear and correct pronunciation, inflection, tone and
Speak at a medium level pace


Communication capability in a cross-cultural setting refers to:
and requires:

refers to the capacity to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers to achieve shared understanding and convey information. It also requires the capacity to adapt communication styles, and take cues from people to achieve mutual understanding


Linguistic competency:

“the capacity of an organisation and its personnel to communicate effectively, and convey information in a manner that is easily understood by diverse audiences, including persons of limited English proficiency, those who have low literacy skills or are not literate, and individuals with disabilities"


11 barriers to cross-cultural communication:

Ethnocentrism (thinking your race is superior);
Language problems;
Poor listening skills;
Poor assessment skills;
Cultural rules/scripts
Idioms and expressions;
Inappropriate non-verbal communication


5 strategies for (identifying and) breaking down communication barriers:

1) Establish communication requirements:
Avoid making assumptions about language and
literacy skills
Assess each client individually
Consider the emotional state of the person
2) Identify/assess the need for cross cultural
Consider the complexity of the message being
communicated and balance it with the language
skill level
Again; consider the emotional state of the client and
the purpose of the communication
3) Identify languages spoken
Ask the person directly what language they speak;
don’t assume
4) Identify the most effective strategy for cross-cultural
Language aid
Bilingual worker
Interpreter (telephone or face to face)
Translated material
5) Take action:
Arrange and plan for the most suitable support to
assist with cross-cultural communication
Language aids and translated material are not a
substitute for an interpreter
Always ask the person you are assisting to confirm
their understanding


Ways to implement cross-cultural communication strategies:
(in the instances, not the organisation)

Seek information about the culture you are
communicating with
Obtain knowledge and contact points to gain
information and understanding about your client
Ask questions, and be prepared to give information
yourself; communication should not be just one way
Be flexible, and learn to deal with ambiguity (Something
that can be understood in two or more ways)
Avoid making judgements or jumping to conclusions


Language aids:

Bilingual dictionaries;
Translators: convert written words from one language to
another (Written translation and Sight [read aloud]
Dialogue interpretation: interpretation of conversations
and interviews between two people. The interpreter
listens first to short segments (and may take notes)
before translating;
Consecutive interpretation: interpreter listens to larger
segments; taking notes while listening, then interprets
while the speaker pauses;
Simultaneous interpretation: interpreter changes the
words into target language at the same time as
listening to the original source language (that is,
speaking and listening at the same time). The
interpretation lags a few seconds behind the speaker.
Whispered simultaneous interpreting is often used in
business negotiations and court cases;
Conference interpreting: interpreter uses special
equipment; such as headphones and microphones in
a soundproof booth;
Sign language communication: a form of simultaneous
interpreting between deaf and hearing people. The
interpreter translates for hearing impaired clients by
using Auslan (Australian Sign Language).


Selecting an interpreter:

If you will have more than one interview with a client,
use the same interpreter each time, if possible.
Establish what gender the interpreter should be. The
general rule is to use a female interpreter for women,
especially in medical, counselling, domestic violence,
sexual assault situations, and if the client is Muslim.
It is always respectful to ask the client whether they
would prefer a female or male interpreter.
If possible, try to get an interpreter with an appropriate
ethnic and national background; not just appropriate
language skills, this will improve the quality of the


How to most effectively use an interpreter service:
(6 Before, 12 During, 3 After)

Before the interview:
Prepare all of the information you need for your call
before calling TIS National;
Brief the interpreter about the case;
Establish objectives for the interview;
Find out cultural background information from the
Establish the mode of interpreting;
Arrange seating to facilitate communication

During the interview:
Introduce everyone and establish their roles;
Establish the ground rules for speaking through the
interpreter to the client;
Notify the interpreter, organisation or TIS National
immediately if you are having difficulty
understanding the interpreter.
Maintain eye contact with the client if culturally
Be patient and wait for the interpreter to finish
interpreting before speaking again;
Use first person (that is, “I” and “me”)
Use short sentences;
Speak slowly and clearly and avoid using slang or
jargon that may be difficult to translate;
Understand the role of the interpreter;
Do not ask the interpreter for advice or to advocate for
If control slips in the interview, stop and reinstate the
ground rules;
Summarise what is being said periodically throughout
the interview

After the interview:
Debrief the interpreter (if a sensitive or difficult case);
Give the interpreter the opportunity to discuss the
Ask interpreter if any information was missed



National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.

The body responsible for setting and monitoring the standards for the translating and interpreting profession in Australia.


Reasons to avoid using client's family/friends to translate:

Staff cannot be sure that what is being said is getting
accurately communicated;
Family members may withhold information for fear of
upsetting their family member; because of family
dynamics, complex personal issues, or simply
because they believe ‘it’s the right thing to do’;
Unreasonable pressure can be placed on family
Confidentiality may be compromised;
They are not registered with National Accreditation
Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) and
therefore not bound professionally by code of ethics;
They may not be neutral and impartial.

An unqualified interpreter has the possibility to negatively impact on the treatment or care a client may receive.
A qualified interpreter is bound by confidentiality, is impartial and will relay information with sensitivity and respect; for this reason their services are deemed the most appropriate.



Translating and Interpreting Service.
A national translating and interpreting service provided by the Australian Government for people who speak limited or no English and for English speaking people needing to communicate with others who speak limited English.

TIS is available 24/7 to any person or organisation in Australia requiring interpreting assistance. TIS can also provide both telephone and on-site interpreters for non-English speakers.


Cross-cultural misunderstandings:

There are times in cross cultural communication when messages are not received as intended.
This misinterpretation can lead to confusion or even conflict.


(14) Situations that can lead to cross cultural misunderstandings:

Status = superior/subordinate relationships tend to have one-way communication styles led by the superior

Pressure of time = Conversation can be one-way or abbreviated; thoughts can run together when a person is in a hurry.

Value judgements = Assigning a right or wrong, or a worth to the communication.

Inattention = Lack of interest is the main cause of inattention or difficulty in concentrating.

Jumping to conclusions = This occurs when the end of the message is assumed before the speaker has finished.

Emotions = Anger, fear, jealously, resentment, hate and love can cause people to behave and communicate ineffectively.

Inconsistency = If you give a conflicting message or change your message, then the receiver may not respond.

Physical barriers = Noise, fatigue, stress, illness and discomfort can impact on understanding.

Disability = Physical and/or intellectual disability can inhibit or slow communication.

Language = Speaking a different language or having English as a second language can create a temporary barrier.

Individual differences = Differences in communication styles can result from different ages, genders, past experience, education, races, cultures, beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, prejudices, first languages and confidence.

Lack of feedback = If someone does not acknowledge what is being said, then it is difficult to work out whether or not they understand.

Pragmatic aspects = Differences in conversational style aspects such as taking turns in conversation, exchanging compliments, being polite, direct or indirect styles of communication can lead to misunderstanding.

Unfamiliarity with social behaviours can also be a significant source of miscommunication. Miscommunications or misunderstandings may occur as a result of concrete conventions in everyday social situations. For example, in some cultures, it causes discomfort for a woman to be in a room with a non-family male and have the door closed. In other cultures, notions of politeness and courtesy, for example; some Vietnamese say 'yes' so as not to offend and to avoid confrontation. They may agree to keep an appointment that they can’t attend rather than risk offending the other party.


(6) Characteristics which may affect communication:
(and how to deal with them)

Physical/Intellectual Disability: Define the disability, work out what measures you need to put in place to make your message clear and enable a response.

Religious/Spiritual: Be respectful; don’t make assumptions about a person’s beliefs based on their dress or ethnicity. Educate yourself so that you understand that some religious and spiritual beliefs can have an influence on responses and daily living.

Gender/Transgender/Intersex: Communication should be respectful and not based on assumptions. Avoid making jokes or innuendos.

Generational: Being older or younger is not a reflection of knowledge.
Thought processes between ages can change but that does not indicate a lack of comprehension.

Sexual orientation/identity: A person’s sexuality or orientation should not change the way or manner in which you speak nor should it be a mark of understanding.

Culture: If you are aware of cultural differences that affect communication, then you should use your knowledge to be respectful. Education on cultural safety can strengthen cross cultural communication.


8 Thoughts to assist with identifying and resolving misunderstandings and conflicts:

Learn from generalisation:
Don’t stereotype or oversimplify your ideas about another person. The best use of a generalisation is to add it to your storehouse of knowledge so that you are better able to understand and appreciate other interesting multi-faceted human beings.

Don't assume there is a Right way to communicate:
Keep questioning your assumptions about the ‘right way’ to communicate. For example; think about your body language: Posture that indicates receptivity in one culture may indicate aggression in another.

Don't assume breakdowns in communication are because other people are on the wrong track:
Search for ways to make the communication work, rather than searching for somebody to blame for the breakdown.

Use active listening strategies:
Try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. When another person's perceptions or ideas are very different from your own, you may need to operate out of your own comfort zone.

Respect others:
Respect their choices about whether to engage in communication with you. Honour their opinions about what is going on.

Stop. Suspend judgement and look at the situation as an outsider:
Be prepared for a discussion of the past and use this as an opportunity to develop an understanding of the other person's point of view; rather than getting defensive or impatient. Acknowledge historical events that have taken place and be open to learning more about them.

Be aware of current power imbalances:
Being open to hearing another person’s perceptions of those imbalances is necessary for understanding and enabling people to work together.

Cultural norms may not apply to the behaviour of any particular individual.


Three key stages of resolving conflict:

Stage 1
The people involved must want and need the conflict to be resolved

Stage 2
They must understand the things which might be barriers to resolving the conflict

Stage 3
They must select a way to resolve the conflict


(8) Skills/qualities to help you to resolve cultural conflict:

Be able to work with interpreters and apply understanding of when an interpreter is required.

Have a good knowledge of and skills in communication.

Be self-aware of your own cultural practice, including your own prejudices, stereotyping and bias.

An understanding of various cultural factors, for example in some cultures discussing concerns with the entire family, an Elder or a religious/spiritual group is a normal response to conflict.

Be sensitive to cultural differences.

Practice active listening (Attending, paraphrasing, speaking from self, clarifying, asking, encouraging, reflecting and summarising)

Allow space and time. Being emotional can cloud a person’s judgement; sometimes having space helps things to be seen more clearly.

Be accepting of differences. Look at what you can change and where


Barriers to resolving conflict:

There are internal and external barriers.

Many people don't feel comfortable examining their own values or acknowledging their own cultural stereotyping or bias. This will slow down self-awareness needed for conflict resolution.

Some people feel so uncomfortable with conflict that they deny it exists; 'they turn a blind eye'. If we don't acknowledge the conflict, we can't deal with it effectively.

Many people have a tendency to blame others for causing problems; rather than looking honestly at their own actions. This is not helpful when resolving issues.

It is important to remember that as individuals we all deal with things differently. People can react in many ways, so it may be necessary for you to alter your communication style and adjust your skills to ensure that you are delivering an appropriate response to a concern.


Steps to conflict resolution:


Fair process
To ensure that all parties can openly discuss concerns. This may be through:
Arbitration, mediation and negotiation
Open discussion
Meetings (formal or informal).


The best initial approach to conflict arising from cultural differences is:

Respect, open discussion and meetings.
It is important to identify similarities and differences between cultural practices, acknowledge those differences, and attempt to balance the interests of both parties.


Where to go for help with conflict resolution:

Education and training:
Many organisations offer education on cultural safety and conflict resolution; don’t be shy, the more you know the easier it is to deal with difficult situations.

An acceptable and impartial third party who can assist in resolving a misunderstanding/dispute.
The mediator can be from within the company or brought in externally. It is important to choose the mediator carefully to ensure they have the skills to mediate in complex situations.

Human Resources:
Staff are trained to deal with conflict and have an in-depth knowledge of legislation and organisational policies and procedures.